LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)
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Marin Cilic and Bernard 'A' Tomic have just strolled out onto Rod Laver Arena. You can put off work even further by watching that on the Red Button or on the website (UK only). I, unfortunately, cannot escape the hard slog so I'm signing off. Many thanks for your patience earlier during the technical problems. Hopefully, it was worth waiting for in the end. Piers Newbery returns at midnight GMT. Federer, Djokovic, and the Williams sisters in action - and the big Dulko-Ivanovic clash.
Those two sets between Henin and Dementieva took two hours and 50 minutes - which is exactly an hour longer than Andy Murray took to beat Marc Gicquel in three sets. If you missed it, catch up with it somehow, anyhow.
Henin is asked what it's like to be back out on Rod Laver Arena. "Only positive things. I wouldn't believe I would live these kind of emotions again." The Belgian will face Russian Alisa Kleybanova in the third round. She could then face fellow Belgians back to back in Yanina Wickmayer and Kim Clijsters.
"It's been a great fight and at the end, the nerves... it was really difficult for me to close the match. But finally I made it and I'm really happy about that."
You have to feel so sorry for Dementieva. Such fine margins in that match. The Russian hesitates for a split-second and sees her sliced backhand hit the net to give Henin a 6-5 lead and a match point.
The agony is writ large on her face. Henin has to throw the ball up twice as she goes to serve for it, but when she gets the serve over, she boldly goes to the net to put away a winning volley. What a match (the bit I saw anyway).
1059: JUSTINE HENIN BEATS ELENA DEMENTIEVA 7-5 7-6 1057:
Another error from Henin and suddenly Dements has a set point
at 6-5. Henin strokes a STUNNING backhand into the corner and then approaches the net to put away a brave drive volley. Wow. It's 6-6 as they switch sides. Dements' mother looks close to tears. So am I, love, so am I.
Double fault from Henin and it's now 5-5. Am I now doing point-by-point updates on this? Surely not...
Backhand over the baseline from Dements and Henin leads 5-3... but it's 5-4 now as she sticks a return into the trams.
From Kate_BT on Twitter:
"This is so unfair. I want Henin to win, but I want to see more great tennis and I've got a tutorial in 10 minutes. Dilemma."
Justine Henin plays the most unbelievable defensive lob, landing on the baseline. They change over at 3-3. I know I've only seen a bit of it, but this is the best women's tennis match I've seen since... well, Clijsters-Henin a couple of weeks back. Still, good to have women's tennis back after the wilderness years.
DelPo survives by the skin of his teeth. Can the women's fifth seed? Dementieva has the mini-break in the tie-break, leading 3-1. Don't go anywhere.
1047: JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO BEATS JAMES BLAKE 6-4 6-7 5-7 6-3 10-8 1046:
Never doubted it. Dementieva breaks right back and we'll have a tie-break in the second set.
From Nick on Old Street, via text:
"I just yelled out a massive 'come on!!!' in my office when Elena broke back. I think they are getting out the straight jacket..."
I've lost pictures of DelPo-Blake. It's probably for the best. I shall follow it on the scoreboard instead. Much safer.
DelPo has a break point against Blake, but the American sweeps a backhand onto the baseline to get back to deuce. Another break point now... saved with a glorious smash. And now Henin has a break point, a backhand pass down the line doing the trick. And she has broken: she will serve for the match again. And now Del Potro breaks and he will serve for it at 9-8. I CAN'T COPE.
From Anna, London, via text:
Re 1023: Hi Caroline, if you need more eyes, you're welcomed to borrow mine, all they are doing at the moment is staring at spreadsheets and they are really bored!"
Dementieva's return hits the net and Henin has a match point.
Awful, awful forehand from the Belgian hits the middle of the net. She must be so tense - and I don't blame her. Stunning return winner from Dements earns her a break-back point - and she takes it with a sizzling backhand down the line. Hold the back page, it's 5-5. DelPo levels at 8-8 against Blake. They'll still be going tomorrow at this rate.
Blake holds to lead 8-7 against Del Potro. Henin has a 30-15 against Dementieva as she serves for the match. I can't bear the tension.
From Tim in Brighton, via text:
"I am gripped to the BBC website, stuff doing any work. This is more important!! Come on Blake and Elena!!!!"
Elena Dementieva's mother looks like she's praying as she sees her daughter facing another break point. The Russian pushes a backhand long - and Justine Henin will come out and serve for victory against the fifth seed shortly. Del Potro levels it at 7-7 against Blake.
James Blake saves a break point with a brave approach to the net as he takes a 7-6 fifth-set lead against Juan Martin del Potro. It is not simply not fair that these matches are going on at the same time. Where can I get more eyes from? Henin also saves a break point and levels against Dementieva at 4-4. That last match has been going on for well over two hours - and Murray has won a three-set match in the time it has taken for them to play a set and a half.
From anon via text:
"COME ON BLAKE! I can't scream, I'm in the office! But I'm on the edge of my seat."
I DON'T KNOW WHICH MATCH TO WATCH! Hisense Arena first: tentative play from DelPo and Blake wallops a backhand winner to earn three break-back points. The US Open champion sends a backhand way over the baseline and it's 6-6 in the fifth no tie-break remember. Henin has broken straight back and now trails 4-3.
Meanwhile Juan Martin del Potro is serving for the match against James Blake...
I've watched about five minutes of Henin-Dementieva and I'm already gripped.
Dementieva has broken for a 4-2 lead in the second set. She is muttering to herself constantly in Russian.
I hereby pledge to stick around for the end of Henin-Dementieva and Del Potro-Blake. Blake has just survived a break point to lead 5-4 in the fifth. Get your messages coming in on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
What else you gonna do? Work?
If you're in the UK, what a bonus: you can watch the culmination of Henin-Dementieva, which sounds as if it's a classic of our time. They are on serve in the second set, Henin having taken the first 7-5. It's on the Red Button and streamed on the website.
Murray says his immediate plans are to "be boring for another day or two" as he prepares for his third-round match. Gael Monfils won earlier so the Frenchman remains a possible last-16 opponent for the fifth seed.
Andy Murray on BBC Two:
"It was a good performance. The conditions were quite tricky. It got quite windy and I had to come through a couple of tough games. So I thought it was solid. It was a great atmosphere. It felt a bit like Davis Cup, there was a lot of noise, a lot of people up and moving around."
Good stuff. Hopefully we'll hear from Murray shortly. He will face Jarkko Nieminen or Florent Serra, who leads that match 5-4 in the fifth. Elsewhere, Dementieva and Henin are level at 2-2 in the second set. Blake and Del Potro are on serve in the fifth.
Murray 6-1 6-4 6-3 Gicquel
Murray lifts a quite magnificent lob over the stranded Gicquel to earn two match points.
He desperately tries to finish it first time, but Gicquel stands firm in a thrilling rally, both players scurrying all round the court before Murray just fails to return a smash. A serve-volley now from Gicquel and he gets back to deuce - but then tamely nets a backhand to give Murray a third match point.
Gicquel just overhits a forehand and Murray goes through to the third round in fine style - less than two hours on court.
Murray 6-1 6-4 5-3* Gicquel
Another missed smash from Murray but this one's so far out, the linesman can't possibly miss it. Murray holds to 30 and he is a game away from round three. No idea who he will face: Niemimen and Serra are locked at 3-3 in the fifth.
Elena Baltacha on Twitter:
"Hi everyone, oh my gosh, hundreds of messages came thru. THANK YOU to you all and I'm sorry I can't answer to all personally..."
Murray *6-1 6-4 4-3 Gicquel
Wow. Gicquel rants and then shrugs (in a Gallic way obviously) at the umpire - and he has every right to. Murray has an easy smash to put away, but sticks it into the trams. No call though. Incredible. Murray gets to 15-30, but a brave drive-volley from Gicquel makes it 30-30. Murray saves a game point with what sounds like a mis-hit return onto the line, and then another with a brilliant volley, chopping it onto the sideline. A Murray pass now - and the cry of "come on" from the Scot as he earns a break point.
Saved. Gicquel goes into the net: another break point.
Murray's really pumped up now. Break point saved but here's a third
and Gicquel finally succumbs with a double fault. Dementieva a set down but 2-0 up in the second against Henin. Blake and Del Potro 2-2 in the third.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-3* Gicquel
Sloppy again from Murray, giving up three break points.
He's perhaps a bit lucky on the first, a routine backhand clipping the net on the way through, but he slaps a lazy forehand into the net and Gicquel does indeed break back.
Del Potro has broken back against Blake and trails 2-1 in the fifth.
Murray *6-1 6-4 3-2 Gicquel
Nice try by Murray, hitting a backhand pass down the line and yelling "come on" before it hits the ground. It's called wide - but it can only have been by millimetres. Murray smiles - it's all he can do, there is no HawkEye to come to the rescue on this court. Gicquel holds to 15. Blake is an early break up against Del Potro in the fifth set.
Murray 6-1 6-4 3-1* Gicquel
Murray appears to have shaken off that second-set lapse in concentration... Or at least I thought he had. He races into a 40-15 lead, but then is pegged back - partly by some vicious forehands from Gicquel. At deuce, the Frenchman plants one into the corner, and draws the error to earn a break-back point.
A well-constructed rally by Murray saves it. Eight aces for the Brit now. Del Potro takes the fourth set against Blake and they're into a decider. In the epic on Rod Laver Arena, Henin, having saved set points, has taken the first set against Dementieva 7-5.
Murray *6-1 6-4 2-1 Gicquel
I think this live text might be back on track so it seems a good time to apologise profusely for the earlier freeze. It's up and running in time for me to tell you that Murray has the break in the third set and is well on his way. The fifth seed has been excellent today. Nieminen and Serra have gone to a fifth set on Court 8, the winner playing Murray (or Gicquel).
Murray 6-1 6-4 1-1* Gicquel
Murray's first-serve percentage was 65% in the second set and is up to a decent 54% overall. Much better than his first-round effort anyway. Dementieva-Henin looks like a classic - on the scoreboard anyway. Henin serving at 6-5 in the first set.
Murray *6-1 6-4 0-1 Gicquel
Murray looks to step it up early in the set again, but Gicquel is prepared for him this time - doing well to dig out a huge Murray return off his toes. Henin is serving for the first set against Dementieva in a match which started about the same time at this one. Del Potro leads Blake 5-2 as he looks to take it into a fifth set.
Murray 6-1 6-4 0-0* Gicquel
A poor game - for the linesman. Murray gets to 30-0 with another dazzling drop shot, but Gicquel responds with an exocet of a return onto the baseline. It's called out but it's clearly in and the umpire overrules. Murray earns two set points before the linesman again calls a Gicquel shot long, correcting himself this time. Gicquel saves one, but Murray comes through. Del Potro now 4-1 up against Blake in the fourth set, as the US Open champ looks to take it into a fifth set.
John Lloyd on BBC Two:
"What you don't want is when these lapses of concentration make you lose sets. You don't want to get involved in long matches at the beginning of a Grand Slam. I don't think it will happen today because I don't think Gicquel is good enough."
Murray *6-1 5-4 Gicquel
Gicquel races into a 40-0 lead, thanks in part to a very fortunate netcord. He errs on the forehand before being virtually knocked over by a meaty return from Murray. The Frenchman comes through in the end. Dementieva has had at least one set point against Henin - but it's now 5-5.
Murray 6-1 5-3* Gicquel
Murray's first-serve percentage in the first set was 39%, it's now 51%. Ace number seven takes Murray to game point but then an error allows Gicquel back in at deuce. The Scot has gone off the boil. He gets back to game point with a delicate, angled volley, and though Gicquel chases it down, he puts his reply wide.
Murray *6-1 4-3 Gicquel
Gicquel misses by an inch with a backhand down the line. He's having to go for these low-percentage shots. That gets Murray back to deuce, and it's soon break point again - but the Scot gets a forehand all wrong. Murray mutters angrily to himself and then to his support camp. Needs to stay focused. Elsewhere, Dementieva leads Henin 5-4 in the first set, but it's on serve.
Murray 6-1 4-2* Gicquel
Gicquel finally gets that forehand going - and what's this? He's got three break-back points.
Murray saves the first with a first serve/forehand combo, the second with an ace, and then Gicquel goes long. "Come on. COME ON," Murray urges himself. Wow. US Open champion Juan Martin del Porto is two sets to one down against James Blake. I repeat: wow.
Murray *6-1 3-2 Gicquel
Murray makes it a perfect 10 net points won - but there's his first one in the net and that gives Gicquel two game points. The Frenchman only needs one. Henin a break up against Dementieva, Blake serving for two sets to one lead against Del Potro.
Murray 6-1 3-1* Gicquel
Boof. Ace number four. Boof. Ace number five. Murray is looking very good out there. Looks like Jarkko Nieminen will be next for Murray (or Gicquel). The Finn is serving for the match against Florent Serra.
Murray *6-1 2-1 Gicquel
That is not going to help Gicquel. The Frenchman winds up on some huge forehands, sending Murray scurrying back and forth on the baseline, but given an easy volley to put away, he dumps it into the net. Credit to Gicquel though, he bounces back to hold serve for only the second time.
Murray 6-1 2-0* Gicquel
Murray's only problem at the moment is over-confidence, going for a bit too much. Gicquel fights back to deuce from 40-15, but Murray delivers a big first serve and a third ace to consolidate the early break. Murray's first serve percentage for the first set was 39% by the way. Dementieva has won two games in a row to go 3-2 up against Henin. On the Hisense Arena, James Blake has levelled it against Juan Martin del Potro at one set all.
Murray *6-1 1-0 Gicquel
Gicquel leaps in the air to pummel a forehand onto the baseline, but it's a rare boost for the Frenchman. MASSIVE backhand into the corner earns Murray another break point - but he overcooks one to let Gicquel off the hook. No drama. Murray flicks a measured pass cross-court and Gicquel nets. Elena Dementieva and Justine Henin are just getting under way over on Rod Laver Arena, the Belgian a break up at 2-1.
Murray 6-1* 0-0 Gicquel
Murray's drop shot - sometimes his bete noir - has been outstanding so far, catching Gicquel flatfooted several times already. Massive ace down the T and Murray bags the first set in a quickfire 24 minutes.
From Mark, Warfield, via text:
"A good start from Andy winning first 5 games. Wide range of play with some gorgeous drop shots."
Murray *5-1 Gicquel
I think Gicquel's beef - or boeuf - is with the crowd. Still, he might feel a bit better now. He's avoided the bagel. Winner of this one faces Jarkko Nieminen or Florent Serra.
Murray 5-0* Gicquel
It would seem churlish to complain after his perfect start, but Murray is a bit sloppy, a double fault and a further two errors giving Gicquel a surprise break point. The Brit bangs down a big first serve to get back on track.
Murray *4-0 Gicquel
Another sensational drop shot, which follows some searching backhands, puts Murray 30-15 up. The fifth seed has started brilliantly, and Gicquel is still looking extremely nervous. A terrible forehand, which lands halfway up the net, gives Murray another two break points and Gicquel obliges by going long. "Come on," grunts Murray, now a double break up.
Murray 3-0* Gicquel
Magnificent drop shot by Murray seals an easy hold to 15. All going very nicely so far. Gicquel has a little word with the umpire as he takes his chair. No idea what that was about.
Murray *2-0 Gicquel
Murray attacks the second serve and puts away an easy volley, before a cagey baseline rally ends in Gicquel netting a backhand. The Frenchman double-faults and then boots a forehand over the baseline. A gift. I cannot stop saying Gicquel in the manner of DelBoy saying Racquel in Only Fools And Horses. Is annoying for everyone, even annoying me a bit.
Murray 1-0* Gicquel
Cracking atmosphere out on Margaret Court Arena - and there is some loud support for Murray. The world number five holds to love in the opening game, Gicquel looking a bit nervous.* denotes next to serve
Right then. We're off. Murray to serve.
Everything you need to know about Marc Gicquel: he's French, he's 32, he's the world number 57, he didn't hit the top 100 until he was 29, and he likes watching 24 and Grey's Anatomy. He took a set off Murray in their only previous match in Rotterdam last year, before retiring in the third set. "That was my best match of 2009 but then I got injured and Andy went on to win the tournament. His ranking says he is better than me but I will make sure we have a lot of long rallies and we will see just how good he is playing at the moment." Sounds like fighting talk.
Actual screams from a packed crowd on Margaret Court Arena as Andy Murray and Marc Gicquel march out. Beers, Brits and blazing sunshine: a heady mix.
Morning, afternoon, evening. I don't care. I am officially buzzing. Elena Baltacha should just change her name to Gutsy. She doesn't win any other way. Gutsy Baltacha - got a nice to ring to it, hasn't it? Anyway, manually refresh to leave Piers in the past - and as an extra bonus, you should get some fancy video (UK only).
O'Brien may be gone but I have good news for you - the dream pairing of Andy Murray and Caroline Cheese are here to brighten your morning. I am about to shut down mentally and physically. See you at midnight.
Katie O'Brien cannot follow compatriot Elena Baltacha into round three as she goes down 6-2 6-2 to eighth seed Jelena Jankovic
. The Briton played some decent stuff and smacked a few glorious forehands but the former world number one was a class apart.
France's Gael Monfils
beats Antonio Veic 6-4 6-4 6-4, leaving the Margaret Court Arena free to welcome Andy Murray and Marc Gicquel at 0800 GMT. Jankovic is now a game away against O'Brien.
O'Brien is hanging on gamely, saving a break point to avoid falling a double-break behind, but Jankovic still leads 6-2 4-2.
0735: Andy Roddick
was involved in a fairly heated discussion with the umpire immediately after his straight-sets defeat of Thomaz Bellucci following a Hawkeye call on match point, but he admits: "There was just a disagreement about a rule I guess on a continuation of a call. To be fair, I didn't come in here (to the media conference) until I watched the video of it. I was more wrong than I thought I was out on court. That being said, it was very close. To take away a match point at that juncture in a match, it's a big call."
Away from the show courts it's mainly doubles around the grounds now but there are still a few singles matches, with Ivo Karlovic surely delighting the Court 18 crowd with his usual brand of delicate chips and cunning lobs as he takes on Julien Benneteau. Back on Hisense Arena, Blake has got the first break in the second set against Del Potro.
Thanks Martin, I was having a good morning until you told me you're in Martinique. And things just took a turn for the worse on Court Two as Jankovic breaks in the second set to lead O'Brien by a set and 3-1.
"Sitting in Martinique ready to keep you company. Good luck to the Brits and Irish. Forget Eastlands, the Owls are out of the bottom three. Have a good morning."Martin via text
What news from the other courts? Del Potro is a set up against Blake on Rod Laver Arena, and Monfils is two sets up against Veic on Hisense Arena. Following at around 0800 GMT
are a potential cracker between Justine Henin and Elena Dementieva, and Andy Murray's second-round clash with Marc Gicquel. That one will be live on BBC Two, the red button, this website
and 5 live sports extra
Well, I had written a quite beautiful description of the closing moments of that set before the publishing system gave up the ghost and lost the whole thing. I want to smash it up - but apparently that's against 'the rules'. In brief, Jankovic converted her fourth set point of a tense game and leads O'Brien 6-2 1-0.
O'Brien is quickly 5-1 down on Court Two but three thumping winners take the Hull City fan to 15-40 and two break points. Jankovic hits an ace on the first but goes long with a forehand on the second and the set is still alive - 5-2 to Jankovic.
stu_fraser on Twitter:
"BOOM! What a day for the Scots so far. Awesome Bally win and Flemski through! A Murray win will round the day off nicely!!"
Clearly unaware of Great Britain's new-found superiority in world tennis, Jankovic has taken an early 3-0 lead against O'Brien. Not really on, that. But Fleming and Skupski have hit back with a 7-5 6-4 win over Lu and Tipsarevic. Order is restored.
"Well done Piers. Thanks for the morning shift...and well done to Elena!! Good morning to Caroline too.."Gordon from a cold Stockholm via text
"Well played louk! We are all very proud! He put up great performance. Maybe andy murray in 1st round of french so it will be on tv!" Eoin, ireland, via text
O'Brien and Jankovic are under way on Court Two, the Serb holding serve in the first game, while Juan Martin del Potro and James Blake begin what could be an interesting one on Rod Laver Arena. And to cap it all, BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese arrives. Tremendous.
Spain's Feliciano Lopez
beats former Aussie Open runner-up Rainer Schuettler 6-3 2-6 6-3 6-2, meaning it's time for Britain's Katie O'Brien to follow in Baltacha's footsteps by demolishing the world number eight Jelena Jankovic. They're next on Court Two.
In the excitement of human contact as colleagues trickle into the office, I have been remiss in failing to keep you up to date with British pair Fleming and Skupski. Well, so far so good. Flemski have taken the first set against Lu and Tipsarevic.
Second seed and last year's runner-up Dinara Safina
beats Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3 6-4, and it's Britain's Elena Baltacha next for the Russian.
"Piers, what's the D list celebrity update today? Any sign of Harold Bishop?"Mark in Abu Dhabi via text
The dream is over. Ireland's Louk Sorensen falls 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to American 33rd seed John Isner
Sorry for the delay there but things got a bit dramatic - Sorensen has two chances to take the third set but Isner hangs on and the Irishman will now serve to stay in the match at 6-5 down.
Victoria Azarenka on Twitter:
"Hey guys! i won my first match i played well today! but u can always do better! i had a lot of fun out there and great support! thank you xo."
Sorensen and Isner locked at 4-4 in the third, Safina huffing and puffing despite leading by a set and a break on Hisensne. And grunting. A lot.
Gallacticos87 on Twitter:
"Wonderful ESPN commentary on the game: "Isner has now won twice as many sets as Sorensen..." Some funny maths there, no?? "
"Was overjoyed when I Found out Andy Murray is on an outside court today! Ticket purchased, going to run down after work to try and get a seat. Come on ANDY."Andy, Melbourne, via text
Defending champion Rafael Nadal
beats Lukas Lacko 6-2 6-2 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena. Easy. Sorensen is keeping pace with Isner in the third set on Court 8.
"Still finishing an essay for tomorrow. Hope ill be done by 8 to watch murray."Andrew in bristol via text
Dinara Safina is well on her way to a meeting with Elena Baltacha, the Russian second seed leading Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3 on Hisense Arena, and Brits Fleming and Skupski are about to take on Tipsarevic and Lu on Court 5.
Isner takes the tie-break 7-4 and now leads Irishman Sorensen by two sets to love. "Queuing seven or eight deep to see Sorensen, and Isner is just a ridiculous size," texts 5 live's Steve Rudge
I can't be sure but I think a lady just shouted something extremely forthright about child bearing towards Nadal, who is feeling so relaxed today he smiles and gives a little wave as he waits to receive serve. Smooth.
We're into a tie-break on Court 8 and it's fair to say that Sorensen needs to win it. Rafa is powering away on Laver with a break at the start of the third.
Japan's former world number four Kimiko Date-Krumm
is taking over the role of the much missed Fabrice Santoro by refusing to stop playing tennis. After losing to Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, the 39-year-old says she will carry on. "Yes, even when I'm 40. I hope to be back next year as long as I stay injury-free."
My finger is hovering over the Irish arrow graphics but the second set is going to the wire as Sorensen edges 6-5 ahead. Meanwhile, Nadal stomps determinedly to his chair on Rod Laver Arena after moving 6-2 6-2 clear of Lacko.
We have a surprise on Court 19 as Evgeny Korolev
of Kazakhstan knocks out 21st seed Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-4 7-5. Actually, the way Berdych has been playing it's not that much of a surprise. Still level pegging in the second set between Sorensen and Isner.
Sorensen leads 4-3 on serve in the second set and he's making Isner work a bit harder in the second set. Elena Baltacha
has been talking after her win over Kateryna Bondarnko: "I feel fantastic. I knew I had to play well. I had a game plan to attack the forehand and I think I did that. There was a dip at the beginning (of the second set). I knew the first set was excellent. I knew I could get it back. It was about settling myself again and then going again, which I did."
Bad luck for Britain's Ross Hutchins
and Aussie Jordan Kerr
as they go down 4-6 6-2 7-6 to Poland's Fyrstenberg and Matkowski on Court 14. The Brit-Oz team were two points away at one stage against a high-quality team who are seeded seventh and played in the Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in November.
Isner and Sorensen are on serve after four games of the second set, while Nadal is having fun in the sun at a set and 3-1 on Rod Laver Arena.
Roddick has an almighty whinge to the umpire at the end of his match over a call on the previous point. Let it go, Andy, you won. Nadal gets an early break in the second against Lacko and Isner seals the first set against Sorensen 6-3.
0414: Andy Roddick
finishes off Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 6-4 6-4 on Hisense and it's Safina up next. Nadal takes his first set 6-2, despite dropping serve once, and Sorensen does well to save a set point and force Isner to serve it out at 5-3.
Word reaches me that athletics legend Sonia O'Sullivan is out and about around Court 8. If so, she has witnessed Isner take a 4-2 lead over Sorensen. Long way to go yet though, and it does prompt a debut from the Irish Down graphic. So it's not all bad news.
"50km outside melbounre following louk on a british internet site... there's no chance aussie tv will be showing it, come on luke! I mean louk!"Fergal from nir via text
peg_leg5125 on Twitter:
"Outstanding is this the year British womens tennis finally picks up. Well done Ellena Baltacha."
Ireland's Louk Sorensen is under way against American giant John Isner on Court 8. The big man beat Andy Roddick at the US Open last year and has already won a title in Auckland this year, but Sorensen has won four straight matches in Melbourne after coming through qualifying. Nadal is cruising at 3-0 on Laver.
"More and more irish flags on court 8. Come on louk!"pat and ian at court 8 via text
Cars and sushi fan Lukas Lacko has his serve broken by Nadal in the opening game on Rod Laver Arena, while Hutchins and Kerr are into a final set against the Polish doubles detectives.
Rafael Nadal arrives on Rod Laver resplendent in orange and pink. He can get away with it, I'd struggle in south London. Roddick is now two sets up against Bellucci on Hisense and Wickmayer is leading 12th seed Pennetta on Margaret Court Arena. And Marion Bartoli's victory on Court 8 means it's Sorensen time....
0323: Kim Clijsters
beats Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3 6-3 and that means it's time for Rafael Nadal and Lukas Lacko on Rod Laver Arena. Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr are a set down but 4-2 up, while we might not be far away from Ireland's Louk Sorensen on Court 8. And Fernando Gonzalez
has just walloped Marsel Ilhan 6-3 6-4 7-5.
I'm pretty sure that would be Baltacha herself, who made the third round in 2005. Clijsters is having a fair old scrap against Tanasugarn but is nearly there, Roddick is about to go two sets clear of Bellucci, and Maria Kirilenko
has followed up her first-round win over Maria Sharapova by beating Yvonne Meusburger 6-3 6-1.
"Woooooo. Awe inspiring performance from Elena. And so the golden age of british womens tennis has arrived. When was the last time there was a british women through to the third round of the Aussie Open?"Adam Bunni from Edinburgh via text
"To quote Elena herself: "Yeeeeessss!!!!" Fab stuff Elena, you've made my night shift."Helene in Brentford via text
"Woooo! Great start to my morn! Im a brit in india, time diff working for me. 1 thru 3 to go. What a day."Christine via text
Unbelievable. Baltacha opens up the biggest game of her life with successive aces, gets to 40-0, throws in a double-fault to spice things up, and wraps it up with another huge forehand that Bondarenko cannot handle. A fantastic performance, and she heads to the side of the court for hugs and kisses. Happy days.
ELENA BALTACHA BEATS KATERYNA BONDARENKO 6-2 7-5 TO REACH THE THIRD ROUND
Magnifico! Baltacha is back to her powerful best and hits Bondarenko off the court to break serve for 6-5, and she'll serve for the match.
Bondarenko holds quickly for 5-4 and the pressure is straight back on the Baltacha serve. It's actually her groundstrokes that crack first as two errors take her to 0-30. An overrule helps Bally back to 30-30 and Bondo is not happy. Another brilliant backhand volley helps Baltacha to 5-5
. It's the Scot who is dictating play for the most part and Bondarenko can't handle her best stuff, it's just a bit too erratic off the ground and particularly on the first serve.
randalthor1812 on Twitter:
"Woken up still fluey, any chance of Elena wrapping it up quickly got phone calls to make at 5am and 8am (make it so Piers)."
"Hey piers. Is Bondarenko playing that badly or is Baltacha just playing like a top 20 player? Say hi to maggie who texted in earlier."Thomas, Chopping, via text
It's tense stuff out on Court 6 as Baltacha fights back from 0-30 and has a point for the game, but eventually leaks a backhand into the tram lines on the fourth break point of the game and it's 4-4. Clijsters a break down in her second set.
"Wow Clijsters and Baltacha really do seem connected tonight. In the 2nd set both suffered from early wobbles. Happily Elena has recovered, hopefully Kim will follow suit."Michael from Letchworth via text
Lordy. Bally is back in the groove and, if Bondarenko had wheels, they would have come off by now. It would probably be cheating anyway. Baltacha breaks to love and moves a set and 4-3 up.
Gutsy stuff from Baltacha as she saves another three break points, two with fearless winners, and she's back to 3-3.
"Yeeeeessss!!!!" Not my word, the word of Elena Baltacha after she hammers a backhand winner on break point to get back to 3-2 down. Bondarenko looks like she's going to smash something soon.
Baltacha stays alive in the set by saving a couple of break point and it's now 3-1 to Bondarenko. Clijsters wraps up her first set, and Britain's Ross Hutchins
and Aussie Jordan Kerr
are under way against Fyrstenberg and Matkowski on Court 14. The Poles sound like another pair of maverick cops to me. "Fyrstenberg! Matkowski! My office - NOW!" It's late.
"Now it appears Clijsters is suffering from a mid set wobble. Obviously catching."Maggie from Colchester via text
Ah, the old British Down arrow. Remember that? Baltacha plays an absolutely woeful service game with two errors and two double-faults to fall 2-0 down in the second set. Roddick has started against Bellucci on Hisense, while Tanasugarn is back to 4-3 down against Clijsters.
"Awesome work for Elena to regain the momentum in this match. A well taken set. C'mon Elena."Andrew from Newcastle via text
"Elena to make it a Bond double! Stirring and not shaken!"Simon, London, via text
Baltacha crouches low to angle away a backhand volley on her first set point and take it 6-2. Bondarenko buries her face in the towel on the changeover, trying to work out what on earth is going on, and I'm getting bored of using the British Up arrow. I've never written that sentence before.
Brilliant stuff! The mid-set wobble looks well and truly over as Baltacha regains the double break to love, thumping away a smash to seal the game and pumping her fist in satisfaction - 5-2 to the Brit. No such drama for Clijsters who is already 4-1 up against Tanasugarn.
The wheels appear to be coming off for Baltacha as she is pegged back to 3-2 and then faces another break point, but the Scot fires a huge forehand winner and comes through three deuces for 4-2. Big game.
Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki
beats Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4 6-2, Andy Roddick v Thomas Bellucci up next on Hisense Arena. And Bondarenko fires a forehand winner to get one of the breaks back but Baltacha still leads 3-1.
"There was a young player from Spain, Who's knees caused him terrible pain. So he cut down his weight, Denies it to date, But he'll win down in Oz all the same!"Tim, Cardiff , via text
Baltacha gets two further dead net cords and looks understandably embarrassed as she apologises to Bondarenko. The Scot holds serve with ease and gets to 0-40 in game three, fails to convert four break points but sees the Ukrainian spoon a forehand long on the fifth. It's 3-0 with the double break for the Brit. Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters and Tamarine Tanasugarn are out on Rod Laver Arena.
That's the way to start a big match - a couple of thumping groundstrokes and a kindly net cord help Baltacha break serve to love.
So we are about to see British number one Elena Baltacha take on 30th seed Kateryna Bondarenko on Court 6. It's their first meeting, although Bally beat Kateryna's sister, Alona, at Wimbledon last year, and at number 33 that was the highest-ranked player the Briton has defeated to date. They are currently knocking up, Baltacha sporting her new green number, Bondarenko decked out in pink.
A flurry of results for you - third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova
beats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-2, seventh seed Victoria Azarenka
beats Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-2 6-0, and ninth seed Vera Zvonareva
beats Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-0.
Sarah in York, I am now fully briefed on the enigma that is Lukas Lacko. The 22-year-old Slovak is ranked 75 after breaking the top 100 late last year; he likes cars, computers and sushi; his favourite surface is hard courts; and in his own words: "I keep working my way through among the first hundred top players in the world developing my mastership in order to become a member of our team in the Davis Cup."
China's 16th seed Li Na
beats New Zealander Marina Erakovic 6-2 6-0 in just 51 minutes, meaning Britain's very own Elena Baltacha is probably in a mad scramble in the locker hopping around trying to put on her trainers while struggling into a tracksuit top. Or maybe she's more organised than me. She's on next against Bondarenko on Court 6.
Kuznetsova is in a funny old mood. She's far too strong for Pavlyuchenkova and leads by a set and 2-2 but can't string the good stuff together yet. Denmark's Wozniacki has snaffled the first set 6-4 against Canadian Wozniak. They are both of Polish origin and speak the language, you know. The WTA told me.
If you want to plan your way through the night following the Brits and Irish in action, here's my best guess: Baltacha v Bondarenko approx 0115 GMT
; Hutchins/Kerr v two Poles approx 0130 GMT
; Sorensen v Isner approx 0300 GMT
; Fleming and Skupski against Lu/Tipsarevic approx 0330 GMT
; O'Brien v Jankovic approx 0500 GMT
; and Murray v Gicquel not before 0800 GMT
"Any more info on this Lukas Lacko character up against Nadal later? Surely his name alone warrants something interesting? Or maybe I just really like saying his name, Lukas Lacko, Lukas Lacko, Lukas Lacko."From Sarah, York, via text
"I'd like to point out to you Piers that Dwayne Bravo is infact very famous...At least he is in Trinidad & Tobago!"From Neil in Weymouth via text
After a dodgy start it's all going swimmingly for Kuznetsova at 5-1, but then she's broken again. Zvonareva has taken her first set and Wozniacki and Azarenka are nearly there too.
The thing is, Paddy, this is not exactly the first Woz derby we have enjoyed. As our friends at the WTA point out, the pair "played 5 times last year (Caroline won 4 and retired in the other match)". And BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese maintains she was the first to dub the match "Woz not Woz". But I doubt it. It's on serve early in that one right now.
"Surely some mention of the Wozniacki Wozniak game? Sounds like a telly tubby conference to me..."From Paddy via text
An otherwise magnificent tournament is again blighted by the quality of celebs on show. Today we have the bloke who directs Battlestar Galactica
, an Australian Idol
judge, and West Indies cricketer Dwayne Bravo. An eclectic mix.
Kuznetsova breaks back to lead 2-1 against Pavlyuchenkova, while fourth seed Wozniacki, seventh seed Azarenka and ninth seed Zvonareva are all under way. It really is a text commentator's delight at the start of day three. My fingers hurt already, thank goodness for Li Na - the 16th seed is 3-0 up on Marina Erakovic.
mollie5555 on Twitter:
"Enjoyed day 2. Looking forward to day 3. Louk is Irish - rules to be an Irish sports star - been here once!!"
When I say it isn't scorching in Melbourne, I might be wrong. The sun is certainly beating down on Rod Laver Arena as Kuznetsova plays a very odd opening game against 2006 and 2007 Aussie junior champion Pavlyuchenkova, being broken after rolling in some very gentle serves.
Before we stare too intently at our navels I should point out that the international community has managed to produce a few half-decent players, and some of them are in action soon. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova open proceedings on Rod Laver Arena before Kim Clijsters and then Rafael Nadal take centre stage. Hisense Arena kicks off with Caroline Wozniacki against Aleksandra Wozniak, with Andy Roddick, Dinara Safina and Juan Martin del Potro to follow.
The players are out and about on what looks to be a decent, if not yet scorching, Melbourne morning. I will be flying solo tonight as BBC Sport's Chris Bevan is somewhere near Eastlands, presumably in a state of some delirium, while BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese steadfastly refuses to work 24/7 and will not be here until 0630 GMT. This means a) things might be a touch slower tonight and b) I need you to
keep me company through Twitter
or send your texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide).
Coverage info first and, along with this detailed text-based analysis of events, you can enjoy regular updates on 5 live Up All Night
throughout the night, before Andy Murray v Marc Gicquel
is the focus from 0800 GMT
on BBC Two, online and 5 live sports extra.
Evening all. Day three then - how are we holding up? I nearly fell asleep on the Central Line just now but I'm putting it down to nervous tension. We have a big night ahead of us with Elena Baltacha and Katie O'Brien leading the British charge, along with doubles specialists Ross Hutchins, Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski, before Andy Murray takes on Marc Gicquel at 0800 GMT. And if last night is anything to go by, the man you really want to hear about is Ireland's Louk Sorensen. I've had graphics done and everything.